Warhawk is the Best Game on the PS3

The above is a little-known fact, kept secret by a cabal of people who prefer to play good but overrated six-hour romps or watch their games more than they play. Some even say Resistance holds that title, but they’re simply letting us on to the ruse by saying something patently absurd.

Warhawk

I don’t know what it is that got me playing Warhawk so much – and I started playing long before the recent 1.5 patch added trophies, before you suggest that I’m interested in anything other than the gameplay – but it really is fantastic. It reminds me of Battlefield 1942 at its peak, even, unfortunately, down to the hit-and-miss infantry combat. But even if running around on foot with most of the weapons is generally as effective as hitting a tank with a damp flannel, when you’re in said tank or flying around the map in one of the titular aircraft it’s hard to find fault.

It’s now been out for over a year and is still getting significant content and balance patches to add everything from new skins to whole new modes, as well as three ‘booster packs’. People pretend not to notice that the boosters are £3.99 for one map and vehicle, but it’s only because the underlying game is so strong that they daren’t speak out, lest the free stuff go away.

But anyway, I’ve spent about 20 hours on the game since I got my second wind with Warhawk, and I really encourage anyone who hasn’t bought it and is fed up of using the PS3 as a Blu-ray player to buy the £20 download. Aside from the aforementioned impotent infantry, a 32-player game on the better maps – Badlands, Island Outpost, Eucadia, the the first two booster packs are my favourites – is hard to beat. I remember how good Battlefield was way back when, and I still think that this is better when you have Warhawks fighting for air supremacy while you try to hold your zone – Zones is the best mode, incidentally – against an onslaught of enemy tanks while someone sneaks around and sticks mines to them. All in something as gorgeous – artistically, if not technically – as Eucadia at dusk.

Although I, of course, like the addition of trophies and have 23% of them at the time of writing, the best thing about them is that it’s given the game a new lease of life. With three individual packs it’s suffered particularly from the splintered community syndrome that has afflicted so many games with DLC – hint to publishers: when there’s a new content pack, make the previous one free – but, as Microsoft has been proving since 2005, people will spend good money for that little Pavlovian ‘ping’. It’s the first time I’ve noticed a good number of populated servers running the new maps, which had previously received precious little use due to the low number of people with them. Sony/Incognito: take the above advice; it worked fine for the Halo games.

The PS3 has and will continue to have games that look better and, of course, actually offer a single-player component, but how many of those will I still be returning to and playing more than ever over a year after their release? How many even remain as fun as you remember? Hell, even with trophies I couldn’t be arsed to go through Uncharted again.

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